Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Feeling Patriotic In Our Nation's Capital

This past weekend we took a few extra days and made a short road trip to Montreal and Ottawa. We drove part of the way to Ottawa on Thursday night and arrived Friday shortly before noon. We wandered the pedestrian mall on Sparks Street and settled on Nate's Deli for lunch.
I had an amazing vegetarian club sandwich with avocados and sprouts and Dave had smoked meat on bread. We both enjoyed our respective, vastly different, meals.
Then we joined a tour of our parliament buildings. For those of you who aren't aware, Ottawa is Canada's national capital.
While we enjoyed seeing the House of Commons...
...and the Senate...
...my absolute favourite room (to no one's surprise) was the library. It was gorgeous and now I am scheming how to get a job there and break it to Dave that we are moving to Ottawa. Ha!

Our tour ended with a trip up the Peace Tower (the tall clock tower in the top picture). We had amazing views of the city and the clock. We were right there when the bells tolled 3pm and it was so beautiful.
Looking out into Gatineau, QC.
Looking up at the clock. We could actually see the minute hand moving which was really neat.
Terry Fox was almost 22 when having lost most of his right leg to cancer, he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. His goal was to raise one dollar for every Canadian (at the time there were 24 million people living in Canada.) He basically ran a marathon every day and started his "Marathon of Hope" on April 12, 1980 in Newfoundland. Unfortunately, on September 1, just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, he had to stop because his cancer had returned, this time in his lungs. He had run 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi).

Sadly, Terry died in February of 1981. However, every year Terry Fox runs have been held across Canada and, to date, they have raised over $650 million. Terry Fox is one of Canada's national heroes and every school kid grows up learning about him. The kids were pleased to find this statue of him across from the Parliament Buildings. (To learn more about Terry Fox and the foundation set up in his name, go here.)
Another statue on Parliament Hill is the "Women are persons..." statue celebrating the acknowledgement that women could be appointed to the senate.
In 1928 the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that women were not "persons" and, therefore, couldn't be appointed to the Senate. A group of five Canadian women, Nellie McClung, Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Louise Crummy McKinney, and Irene Parlby (who have become known as The Famous Five), fought the ruling. In 1929 the Judicial Council of Britain's Privy Council overruled the Supreme Court ruling and declared that "Women are Persons."
Thanks to the work of The Famous Five, and many other unnamed women, 
my daughter and I will never know the kinds of discrimination these women did 
solely due to the fact we are female. 
This does not negate the other forms of discrimination against women,
both in our country and around the world.
The Famous Five also fought for other women's rights and Edmonton, where we used to live, actually has a park dedicated to each of the Famous Five, as they originated in Alberta. To read more about the Famous Five, and the Persons case, go here.
After we looked at some of the statues on Parliament Hill, we went to see the locks of the Rideau Canal. They were very impressive.
We had supper, and stayed overnight, with my cousins, Kristina and Rob. They took us to the Lone Star Texas Grill and I had the best fish tacos ever. I also overdosed on salsa and chips and a margarita. I am now way more envious of my blog friends who live in Texas and get to eat like this all the time. If I can't convince Dave to move to Ottawa so I can work at the Parliamentary Library, I may work on convincing him to move to Texas, solely for the food!
After supper, Rachel led us through one of her dance class exercises. Let's just say she is way more flexible than the rest of us put together. Ha!

And that was the end of our short stay in Ottawa. On Saturday, however, we were off to further adventures...

Read about Day 2 here.


  1. I cannot get past that LIBRARY! Jaw LITERALLY on the floor. Drooling.

    1. Imagine what I felt like being IN the library. I just wanted to browse all the books and papers. Sadly it's been closed to the public since about 1959. Boo.

  2. I love seeing my little city through visitors eyes. I wish you had been able to stay longer and take in more of what our Nations Capital has to offer. If nothing else hopefully it will give you the bug to visit again. We have a big birthday celebration in the works for 2017. Check out Canada-150th.ca

    1. I wish we could have stayed longer too. It's been a long time since I've been to Ottawa. I want to visit again when the kids are a little older and we can see the amazing museums and skate on the canal.

      Trust me -- this visit just whetted my appetite for more!

    2. Oh I think I know why you went to Montreal! A friend of mine was in Montyeal this past weekend! Exciting.

    3. It was super exciting!!!

  3. I really want to visit there--especially that library!!

  4. Wow, what a fun adventure!! Those fish tacos look fantastic, but Dave's smoked meat sandwich is what REALLY sounds good right now. Also, why do I still have another hour til lunch...??? Ha.

  5. Way to be a good Canadian! As for the food here in Texas, the TexMex is definitely something I missed when I lived in Utah... but my waistline did not miss it!

  6. Sounds like a great adventure... and it also sounds like there is more fun to still be had! I haven't been to Ottawa in awhile... now I want to go!

  7. What a beautiful capital! So much reminds me of our trip to D.C. a couple of years ago like the tour of Parliament (or the Capitol building here). And yes, I can definitely see you living in or working in a library. Maybe that should be your next career aspiration. Maybe a part-time librarian position will open up for you since I think you have concluded full time isn't the best right now. My fingers are crossed! Yes, I have been dreaming of moving to Texas lately too...mostly because I want Chip and Joanna Gaines to design a house for me. Haha! Oh and you know I get emotional when I see monuments like these. Such amazing and inspirational leaders who we need to remember!


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